Organized Opposition Grows to California's Prop 19

A long list of organizations and state leaders -- MADD, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the Republican and Democratic candidates running for governor, the California Bus Association, and numerous sheriffs, police chiefs, and district attorneys -- are opposed to Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative that would legalize adult personal use and cultivation of marijuana. The Obama administration also opposes it.

The vote will take place Nov. 2, less than two weeks from now.

The proposition would prohibit consumption of marijuana in public or in a public place; consumption by the operator of any vehicle, boat, or aircraft while it is being operated or that impairs the operator; and smoking marijuana "in any space while minors are present," according to the text of the proposition.

More than 30 California newspapers have recommended voting no on the proposition. Proponents foresee a tax windfall for a state sorely needing one. Opponents say Prop 19's passage would produce an array of conflicting local ordinances and would not diminish the activities or power of Mexican drug cartels. Law enforcement agencies maintain its passage would increase traffic accidents.

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote Wednesday about driving tests he and local radio host Peter Tilden took under police supervision before and after smoking marijuana. While they didn't crash their cars, their skills degraded while they were under the influence.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Oct 20, 2010